Effects of Mindfulness on Emotions: A Review of Modern Research

When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves. – Jack Kornfield

Mindfulness has been associated with psychological well-being for long time. There are many theoretically and evidence based research. The elements of mindfulness, namely awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance of one’s moment-to-moment experience, are regarded as potentially effective antidotes against common forms of psychological distress—rumination, anxiety, worry, fear, anger, and so on—many of which involve the maladaptive tendencies to avoid, suppress, or over-engage with one’s distressing thoughts and emotions.

Types of Mindfulness

Mindfulness finds its roots in ancient spiritual traditions, and is most systematically articulated and emphasized in Buddhism, a spiritual tradition that is at least 2550 years old. However, the practice of mindfulness has been introduced into Western psychology and medicine.

Buddhist Mindfulness

The Buddhist and Western conceptualizations of mindfulness differ in at least three levels: contextual, process, and content. At the contextual level, mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition is viewed as one factor of an interconnected system of practices that are necessary for attaining liberation from suffering, the ultimate state or end goal prescribed to spiritual practitioners in the tradition.

Hence, it needs to be cultivated alongside with other spiritual practices, such as following an ethical lifestyle, in order for one to move toward the goal of liberation.

Western conceptualization of mindfulness.

On the other hand, is generally independent of any specific circumscribed philosophy, ethical code, or system of practices. The contributions of modern mindfulness leaders like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Jack Kornfield, Sri Amit Ray, Pema Chödrön, Sharon Salzberg are well appreciated in psychological health improvement.

You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather. ~ Pema Chödrön